Surrealism In Film

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Surrealism is a movement that built off of the burgeoning look into art, psychology, and the workings of the mind. Popularly associated with the works of Salvador Dali, Surrealist art takes imagery and ideology and creates correlation where there is none, creating new forms of art. In this essay I will look to explore the inception of the surrealist movement, including the Surrealist Manifesto, to stress the importance of these artists and their work in the 20th century and beyond. I also will look to films from our European Cinema course to express how films incorporate the influence of surrealism both intentionally and unintentionally. To begin, we will look at the ideals and influences that led to the formation of surrealist ideals, starting with something that sparked multiple artistic movements, the First World War. Many French artists were displaced during the war, and embraced ideals that spoke to their dissatisfaction with the results of rationalism, in their eyes a cause of the war itself ( These artists called themselves “Dadaists” and believed in the concept of “Anti-art”, a rejection of previous values tied to rational or bourgeoisie ideals. Upon their return to Paris after the war these artists brought the idea of anti-art and began expressing their ideas via performances, written work, and various other forms that looked to the absurd or ridiculous to ridicule the formal presentation of art and realism. These protests however, were driven more by social and aesthetic commentary than the Surrealists, who focused more on the effects of art of the mind, both in creation and viewing. The important spark occurred in 1924, when Andre Breton published the “Surrealist Manifes... ... middle of paper ... ...m blockbuster films to the smallest independent features. The suspension of reality inherent in watching any film is a process that surrealists sought to use, the image that abruptly defies expectations of concrete reality. Works Cited The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie. Dir. Luis Buñuel. Perf. Fernando Rey. 1972. The Seventh Seal. Dir. Ingmar Bergman. Perf. Max Von Sydow. AB Svensk Filmindustri, 1957. DVD. Neginsky, Rosina. “Surrealism Lecture.” Microsoft Word File. 28 Nov. 2011. Neginsky, Rosina. “Surrealism, Interesting Information.” Microsoft Word File. 28 Nov. 2011. “What Is Surrealism?” WiseGeek, N.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2011. Voorhies, James. “Surrealism.” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, N.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2011. Magrini, James M. “’Surrealism’ and the Omnipotence of Cinema.” Senses of Cinema, n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2011.

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